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More Distress Ink on the Gelli and Ink + Paint

Oh now I am having fun.

Two experiments today.  First, I have been combining the press-on and brayering of Distress ink.  Interesting.  I love the deep, dark ink application and the weird secondary pattern I get if I press the pad to the plate


but I found if I then brayer over that it totally smooths out the ink without removing too much of it.  It still seems to me to give much deeper coverage than simply brayering on the ink.



And it is QUICK.  You can cover as large an area as the Gelli plate in a flash, and using less ink than you would if you were to laboriously sponge and blend the DI.  I’m curious to try pressing on different colours of ink then brayering to see what effect I get as they “mix” on the plate.

Just a quick card background – I ran the ink-filled brayer over a foam stamp and then pressed that on, and ditto a grid texture plate.

DIgelli3A ribbon and a topper and card done.  Took literally two minutes to do.

So then I was thinking of ways to combine ink and paint in one pull.  The obvious choice was to load the plate with paint and lay on a stencil and pull thru it to remove the paint


fill the gaps with ink – and as there will be paint left on the plate use the brayer rather than pressing the ink pad to the plate or you will get paint on your ink pad – not good!


Then pull.  Mine shifted a bit due to too vigorous pressing to clear out as much of the paint thru the stencil gaps as I could. even so, you get the idea.

Had another go




This time I decided to see if I could both clean off the brayer and get a second piece by laying the reverse side of the first pull on to the paint+ink pull and using the inky brayer on the back.  It cleaned the brayer of ink and filled the gaps around the first pull.  Where this would be useful is if you needed a double-sided print, like for a mini book, or if you wanted to cover both sides of an envelope with a similar colour/pattern!


Now this is cool.  I didn’t clean off my stencil from when I pressed on the DI in one of yesterdays samples.  So although the ink was DRY on the stencil, pressing it to the paint reactivated it somehow to give me a really pretty effect.





I REALLY like that one.  I like the fact that the inky part if both textured looking and has the little halo around it.  That is a happy accident, and better that just pulling a paint print with open areas and smudging on DI over it IYKWIM.

What might make it even more interesting is to now try some sort of next layer that capitalizes on the properties of Distress Ink – like the fact it is reactive with water.  So you could, for example, write with a water brush on the DI areas then heat it let the ghostly writing emerge (neat for an AJ page, I think, but perhaps not with this particular print as maybe the areas are too small) or stamp over it with water so the inked part gets the bleached out image but the PAINT areas stay solid.  Or even flicking on water droplets to make the inky part even more splotchy.  Maybe stamping over it with dye ink then wiping off the ink from the paint, which should resist the ink, so you get a sort of masked effect….

SO many things to try, so little time.  If you try them do let me see your results.




Distress Ink pads and the Gelli

I was curious about using Distress ink on the Gelli.  Brayering it on didn’t give the sort of coverage I wanted so instead I tried pressing the ink pad directly to the surface of the plate.  







Unlike paint, the DI doesn’t really hold much pattern – you maybe can very faintly see the bubble wrap effect on this, but I doubt it.  

I had better luck using a stamp – after coating the plate I pressed a grid stamp into the ink – be sure to stamp off between pressings or you are just distributing the ink to the new spot, rather than removing it.  Still not a super-defined pattern but better.  A bit like super colourful burlap!



You can add a paint layer over – this pale pink was too pale but I think you can see the possibilities:



The contrast of the intense ink colour and the softer more matte paint is interesting.  and I really like metallic paint over it.



I didn’t want to contaminate my ink pads so I pressed them to the plate in a defined pattern so they didn’t overlap.  I also sketched around the paint, just to see what it would look like.

I had a go with a pull on Deli paper.  It takes a while to dry but I think, if you ironed it, it wouldn’t smudge (?) not sure.

DIonGellideliThe deli paper wrinkled, as you can see, but what was really interesting was the ghost pull on paper – the ink retained all of the interest from the stencil and from the wrinkle!

DIonGellideli2I really like that one!

And how about this: ink up the Gelli plate and lay down a stencil – pull thru the stencil.

DIonGelli6Then, with the stencil still in place, press a contrasting colour into the now empty areas.  When you pull away the stencil you can see the two areas of colour on the plate.  



So cool.



The rather patchy, beaded-up look of the ink is interesting.  Clearly ready for some more play with this idea!

And of course, in case you had any doubts, my desk is a mess once more….





Embossed Embossing

You may remember my glitter highlight card.  Well, I was considering that and thinking of a way to update it and my eye fell on my drawer full of WOW embossing powders.  I love them because they are so fine and the colours just wonderful.  I have one called Clear Gold Highlight that I really like but haven’t found the right project for it.  Now I have!It is not really much different to the brayer-on-glitter-gel technique except perhaps less messy and a step more.  Here is what you do –
Emboss your cardstock.  as with the glitter gel you want a nice overall pattern, not one that has bug gaps.  You want to use a good weight cardstock, so the embossing is quite deep.  I would say smooth card is best, too, rather than textured.
Now load your brayer with Versamark, or other clear embossing ink.  Try to hit just the high points – you can do this easily working on a hard surface, or by leaving the card IN the folder, so the high points are supported by the folder and stay rigid.
Sprinkle on the embossing powder.  You should get it clinging to the raised bit, but if you do get a smidge in the dips either don’t worry about it and call it grunge (and later you will see a way to mask this a bit more) or whisk away the worst of it with a little fine tip paintbrush.  Heat emboss. Cool, hummm?
Check out the sparkle on that gold highlight powder!Now, about the hiding of stray glitter.  Since it is embossed and the powder set, you can smudge over it all with Distress ink than lightly buff the embossed part to bring back the shine.
This Olive is matt, rather than super-shiny – love that look.
and now to tie it all n with my printables (keep in mind the embossing folders don’t QUITE fit a 4 x 6 card blank – you can add a mat to make up the difference or, as with the Santa-suit card, split the piece and mask the gap with a strip of cardstock or ribbon) :
This one has no DI added, and I did think (as I type) that a spritz of some pale glimmer mist over all might look quite pretty.  Have to give that a go ….

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BIG CARDS – Ace of Hearts

I did decide to work in reverse, as I am missing the Queen of Hearts.  So beginning with the Ace today.

If you read my post from yesterday about Visible Image you will know that I was quite taken with a technique from the video on the site that involves pressing a stamp pad on to card to give a misty background.  I can remember YEARS ago seeing the use of a single impression to create a sort of shadow stamp effect, but this was more of a seemingly random pressing, this way and that, to create a pattern.  I wanted to extend that further, covering the entire paper in a variety of impressions.  I used Distress Ink because I like the square.

I used a wide selection of colours.  I loved it so much I just could not stop making them!  The cardstock, when you get done, has an almost leathery texture that I really like. 

It’s pretty self-explanatory but I did step-by-step photos anyway, cause some people like to see the process in detail. For this one I used blues and greens.

The newest ink pads, Mowed Lawn and Salty Sea, gave quite dark, ink impressions.  The older drier pads gave a much more subtle effect. The really dark blue is Salty Sea, the much lighter one Tumbled Glass,

Basically just press, move, repeat.  I wasn’t aiming to an actual PATTERN, just good overall coverage. See how dark the Mowed Lawn is? Almost full cover, where the dried pads have a greater concentration of ink around the edges, paler to non-existent in the middle.

You can stop at any point you like the look. I added some bright yellow Mustard Seed for a real PUNCH.

I love how it looks with the addition of some orange circles using a template.

I also love the addition of a text stamp over it. I did this one is shades of yellow with green text and also a red-inked numbers strip,  from that Visible Image set. Made that into a card.

I think the coverage is good, and it would make a fabby AJ background too!

Finally, now, getting to the Ace.  I also used my home-made foam stamps to add some bigger, more solid circles:

Give it a go.  I did, with some old nearly dry SU ink spots and some Adirondack pads.  I think it’s more likely that dye ink will work best for this, as pigment or chalk pads are probably just too wet.   Have fun – I did LOL!


BIG CARDS – 2 of Spades

Very nearly done now.  Of course I had to play with my drippy inks.  But this time I wanted to see how muted they would become on plain paper rather than glossy.

I dripped a couple of colours, Turquoise and clear Yellow, around and placed another sheet over to squash.

Because Spades are black, I had to add some of that.

and blotted again.

I dried it and dripped a bit more concentrated ink in spots and blotted with a DRY piece of cardstock, to keep the colour rich and dark.

I took a little texture stamp and added some + signs randomly around

Smudged on some Black Soot ink and then saw some letters, left on my desk from a layout and thought they were the perfect colour!


Although this one was pretty simple, I really like how it turned out.  The misty colours on matt cardstock look really interesting, not at all like the insanely bright colours on the glossy paper.  But they are still quite rich looking.  and I love that little stamp.  No idea where it is from – it isn’t very often I regret stripping away the packaging but every so often I actually care who made the thing.

I have a feeling I’ll try this again. And I am already thinking ahead to the ACE OF SPADES.  I really want to do something in PURE Black and White, have an idea, but can’t decide if it’s the best of the handful of ideas I have for the Ace.  and then, finally, back to red.  I do wonder if I will have enough ideas for a whole other series of red cards.  I must go back to my idea book and start identifying techniques I want to try.  Soon.


More drippy ink

A quick one – I wanted to share a few things.  First, the fact that at least on my photo paper (which is Polaroid Canvas paper, 10 sheets,  from the £ store) I am able to emboss on it.  The heat gun does not damage the paper at all.  So I did a couple of samples, experimenting.

I stamped and embossed (black ink, clear embossing powder) and them dripped the ink over it and daubed with a baby wipe.

This one in reverse, daubing the ink then stamping and embossing.  The ink dries very fast and does not allow the embossing powder to cling to it – or at least my combo of supplies doesn’t.

Now this last was just a trial – I wasn’t sure what would happen but I dripped the ink onto the photo paper, then blotted it off with plain printer paper (that is the piece on the left.) But then I filled in the white areas with drips of yellow to really brighten it up and daubed that off with another sheet – and I love that misty, pale piece the most.

I can see using any of these for ATC or cards or stuck in an art journal or punched out or cut as letters.  I might take some time next week to play with some of these practice pieces and see what I can turn them in to, just for fun.

Have a great day tomorrow!


Playing with drippy ink

Yesterday, I got my delivery from a discount Art supply place – mostly pens for the lettering class, but also a beginners set of drawing ink.  I was keen to have a play with these.  They can be added to water to make a colorwash mist of whatever intensity you want, as well as used straight from the bottle for really intense colour. With free shipping they were not much more than £1 a bottle

I tried a few things, with varying degrees of success. Watercolour paper, as that is most common for art journals and what mine is made of, was…ok.  Pretty muted.  I sprayed both pieces with water and dripped on the ink.  Maybe it was too much water, because as soon as the ink hit it spread all over the piece.  Squashed another sheet over it and got this:

Very melty and runny and I think hugely dependant on colour choice and placement.  Might try again with a VERY light mist of water. Then I tried plain dry watercolour paper.

First thing I noticed was how the ink just sat on the surface. I think I could also try misting lightly at this point. But I just squashed them together.

I turned the top sheet and squashed again.  Then I dripped more ink into the white areas (the yellow here)

THEN I misted with water and pressed the second (still dry) piece over that. Cool.  REALLY like the look of that! The dry paper sort of took away the colour, letting the texture of the watercolour paper show thru.

So then I thought back to a post by The Frugal Crafter  (do you follow her?  why not?) about using cheap photo paper in place of glossy cardstock.  Since I HAD cheap photo paper, as you may recall, I gave it a go.

The first thing I noticed was that if the photo paper is dry, it will stick when you squash it.  But by misting the piece I add the ink to, then misting the cover piece, I was able to keep them from sticking.  In the places where the ink was quite wet, is ran and bled and melded.  In places where the paper had dried (and the water dries really fast on this photo paper) I got more of a blot of colour.

I kept turning and pressing, so all a bit too blended, maybe, although I do still quite like the intensity of it.

And adding black ink drips to the initial mix really makes it POP!

Now, I am just about at my wit’s end with WordPress, as it is misbehaving horribly and in three different browsers so pretty sure that isn’t the problem.  It’s taken me HOURS to get this compiled and posted. But I have one other thing on my desk, a job that needs doing as much as I hate it.  One day I will learn my lesson and clean my stamps as I go along.


Printable word hearts

Just a quick one today as it’s DDs transition meeting.  I started these, gosh, ages ago, last year some time, but I wasn’t happy with how it was so I shelved it.  Got busy with other thing. Now that I seem to be on a Valentine’s Day kick I figured I might as well finish  up in a way I liked and post them.

There are two sheets, Hearts1 and Hearts2. You can see an overview here, as well as some overlaid Nesties to show how they can be cut. Also that they are spaced so you SHOULD be able to cut all of them with little waste. You could def. print one in economy mode and make yourself a template of the centre heart then cut that from coloured card or patterned paper to make them more interesting, but my experiences over the last 6 months with colour issues made me scrap the filled heart version, as a solid block of colour runs the risk of looking rubbish on YOUR printer, where a thin line of text will be more acceptable.

Impossible to read in the photo but it says: How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach…

That’s the 2″ circle punch, FYI. Then I made a quick card to show one way you might use them.

Loving my Cheery Lynn sunflower, still. And I did something nifty with it.  I got some WOW embossing powders to play with. I had the idea to emboss the die cut but wasn’t sure if it would work.  It did! I feared the fine lattice might be hard to ink and hard for the embossing powder to stick, but it worked great.  I have another idea for then die and the powders, but I messed up the first version so that may have to wait a few days before I can share it.

Basically I smeared Versamark all over the lattice surface – and I found that easier to do before I cut out the flower shape. This one I had already cut off the border but it really is easier, if very slightly wasteful of the powder, to leave the border on – then dumped on the whole pot to make sure I got good cover on it.

Heat embossed.  Hard to see, but it gives a lovely effect, and the lattice is then almost mold-able – I curved in the edges slightly, which you may be able to detect on the final card above.

I also did one with the Gold Satin Pearl that was really lovely, although that was part of the failed experiment.  This was their REGULAR grade powder in Earthtone Pomegranate, a very pretty colour.  I have some mauve glitter I am dying to try with this too. I could have cut the lattice from coloured card, and have done, but the enamel look of the embossing powder just adds something to it, I think.

Anyway, grab the printables if you like and comment with a link to anything you make with them so I can see.



Alcohol Ink monoprinting

In my travels through the WOYWW posts this week I saw a number of AI monoprint items, based on a challenge from Studio L3 working from A Compendium of Curiosities (Tim Holtz book) and decided to give it a go.  A couple of problems – I have no glossy cardstock, being the major one.  But I do know from past experience that while regular photo paper does NOT work well with AIs, the HiTi dye-sub printer sheets DO give a great effect.  I really didn’t want to waste a sheet, given that the print packs should be matched perfectly (eg colour ribbon to photo paper) but I DID have some sheets that came with my printer that were sticker sheets.  These are little rectangles, designed to print multiples of a photo.  They have the added advantage of being stick-backed and in, oh, 5 years I have found no other use for them.  Perfect.

Instead of doing exactly what Tim says in the book, I used two sheets and sort of smooshed them together, then turned the top one and smooshed again.  All well and good – a nice mottled effect, but a bit indistinct.

I then dropped spatters of straight AI onto the sheets, which allowed the inks to interact in interesting ways. I did a few of these LOL!

Then I got the brilliant (or very stupid) idea to put the blending solution into a mist bottle,  although in the back of my head I was thinking “I’m sure I read ‘Don’t do this’ someplace!” so I did hold the bottle well away from me and turned my head when misting (if I could have found the breathing masks I know I have I probably would have used one) and got a nifty speckled effect.

That gave me some really neat backgrounds, but I wasn’t done yet.

The fact the AIs dry so quickly and thoroughly made me wonder – would Pearl-ex stick to the whole surface? So I stamped a swirl, with Versamark, over the dried background and dusted on Pearl White Pearl-ex (and I assume Perfect Pearls would work too) and got this:

I peeled off the stickers and added them to  plain black cardstock, spacing them as they are on the original, for a sort of grid.  Now I am just considering the perfect image to top it. I’ll share it when I get it done.

I discovered a few other things that I need to refine a bit before sharing as well, so all in all this has been a fun play-time.  I see no reason why this wouldn’t work on glossy cardstock just as well, with the advantage of not being limited to little rectangles, so I guess I better add that to my shopping list LOL!